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Readiness of the Polish Crisis Management System to Respond to Long-Term, Large-Scale Power Shortages and Failures (Blackouts)


[ 1 ] Instytut Bezpieczeństwa Państwa, Wydział Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego, Akademia Sztuki Wojennej | [ 2 ] Faculty of Management, Rzeszów University of Technology | [ 3 ] Faculty of International & Political Studies, University of Lodz | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[5.3] Security studies

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2021 | Journal volume: vol. 14 | Journal number: issue 24

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Civil defence
  • Crisis management
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Crisis
  • Crisis situation
  • Energy policy
  • Energy security of the state
  • Environmental disasters
  • National security
  • Poland
  • Awarie przemysłowe
  • Energetyka
  • Energia elektryczna
  • Infrastruktura krytyczna
  • Katastrofy
  • Klęski elementarne
  • Kryzys
  • Ochrona ludności
  • Polityka energetyczna
  • Polska
  • System zarządzania kryzysowego
  • Sytuacja kryzysowa
  • System elektroenergetyczny
  • Zarządzanie kryzysowe

EN Large-scale failures of electric power systems (blackouts) have been the subject of intensive research in most countries for several years. This research aims primarily at seeking solutions to improve the reliability of the operation of power systems and the development of effective strategies to protect critical infrastructure from the effects of energy shortages and power cuts. In contrast, systematic research on crisis management and civil protection under conditions of prolonged blackout has been undertaken in Europe only recently, and these extremely important aspects of energy security have been delayed by the COVID-19 crisis. The ability of the Polish crisis management system to cope with the consequences of long-term, large-scale shortages and interruptions in the supply of electricity, as well as the consequences of possible failures in this field, has not been systematically examined to date. This issue is of growing strategic importance, not only from the point of view of security and defence policy, but also economic cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland’s infrastructural security must be considered in a broad regional and supra-regional context. A long-term lack of electricity in a large area of Poland would undermine the stability of the entire national security system, destabilising the region and supranational security systems. Apart from objective reasons, intentional attacks on the links of such a chain cannot be ruled out. Poland is the leader of this region, a frontline country in the NATO-Russia conflict, as well as a liaison state that provides the Baltic states—being EU and NATO members—with a land connection to Western Europe. In view of the growing risk of blackout, the importance of the problem and the existence of a cognitive gap in this field, we evaluated the Polish crisis management system in terms of its ability to respond to the effects of a sudden, long-term, large-scale blackout. Methodologically, we adopted a systems approach to security management. In order to estimate the consequences of a blackout, we used analogue forecasting tools and scenario analysis. By analysing previous crisis situations caused by blackouts and local conditions of vulnerability to such events, we formulated basic preparedness requirements that a modern crisis management system should meet in the face of the growing risk of blackouts. A review of strategic documents and crisis planning processes in public administration allowed us to identify deficits and weaknesses in the Polish crisis management system. On this basis we formulated recommendations whose implementation shall improve the ability of the national security system to face such challenges in the future

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

1 - 33





8286 (nr art.). This article belongs to the Special Issue The Issues of the Energy Supply and Demand in the Socio-Economic Development and Reorganization of Military Security Structures) Bibliografia na stronach 30-33.

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Points of MNiSW / journal


Points of MNiSW / journal in years 2017-2021


Impact Factor

3.004 [List 2020]

Publication indexed in